Monday, June 17, 2013

So, Jay, Where Were You Saturday?

The eagle-eyed observer will note that I didn't post anything on Saturday. That's because I was out and about early, meeting some friends who were in the area for Bike Week festivities. Mopar and Cher make the trek north every year for bike week, and have invited me to come ride with them pretty much every year. Well, as luck would have it, the stars aligned, the moon was in the right phase, whatever, and I was able to meet them.

So, bright and early Saturday morning, I hit the road to meet them. I was up late the night before cleaning the Harley:


It stayed clean for most of the ride up... And I had another incident to check off the "why I don't always wear a helmet" - I got hit by a bee, who then flew into the helmet and wound up stinging me on the back of the neck. Ever try to remove a stinging insect from behind your head while downshifting? It's rather difficult...

Took a few minutes to stretch my legs and clear the cobwebs out once I met up with Mopar and Cher, then it was off to breakfast:

Mopar and Cher's scoots.

Nothing like a hearty breakfast (hat tip to the good folks at the Sunrise Shack for a good, healthy biker breakfast - scrambled eggs with hot sauce, bacon, and hash browns - with coffee, and lots of it).

After breakfast, while we were getting ready to hit the road, we saw a bike pull in on a trailer with sentiments we agree with:


Turns out, the gentleman who brought this scoot is from Connecticut (where Mopar and Cher come from). They may have another CCDL member!

Mopar was aghast to hear that I'd never ridden the Kancamagus Highway (hereforeafter referred to as "the Kanc"), so we headed thataway post haste. It's also the shortest, fastest, and awesomest route from the White Mountain area to the Lakes region, which is where Bike Week takes place. It's a simply amazing ride:

Yeah, pretty much the entire route is like that.

We stopped at one of the many scenic stops to discover that, yes, pretty much all of New Hampshire turns into a Bike Week destination:

Acres of chrome!

We had to stop to get an amazing shot of the Mount Washington Hotel:


It's even better in person - you can see the line for the Cog railway making its way up the mountain, as well as the weather station on the peak. We had a simply amazing day for a ride, with very few clouds and breathtaking vistas. And, best of all, fantastic company.

We headed up to Cathedral Ledge to get some shots of the Valley, and while up there we ran into -surprise - a bunch of bikers. I had to take a couple pictures:

Baby Girl G. wants me to paint my bike this color...

No, I don't know what this is about. Funny as hell though.

There's an AWESOME view from the Ledge:

Just... damn.

After we left the Ledge, we headed to one last photo op spot by Lake Chocorua. Managed to snap a pretty sweet shot there:

Mama always told me not to look into the eyes of the sun...

Over the course of the day, I put very close to 400 miles on my Harley. I've had years where I barely put that many miles on the bike. Kinda let the "biker" part get away from me in recent years; the whole "dad" thing coupled with the "not a hell of a lot of spare time" thing. When events conspired to give me a day free during Bike Week to get together with good friends and go riding? Oh hell yes. Definitely hoping I can do this again next year.

Thanks again, Mopar and Cher. I had a FANTASTIC day out riding with you guys, and I hope I didn't slow you down that much... Mopar brought us on this twisty, turny, up-and-down road off of Route 16 that I thought was going to bring us out somewhere in an amusement part, that's how crazy this road was. Dude knows his routes. I'm happy that they took time out of their vacation to show me some of their favorite haunts, and I'm looking forward to doing it again.

And the best part is I get to see them again in less than two months!

That is all.


Mopar said...

Thanks Jay! Didn't slow me down a bit. During bike week it's all about the ride, not the destination. Actually, since we never really HAD a destination, it really didn't matter how fast we got there, did it?
The twisty road Jay mentions is called Hurricane Mountain Road, and it starts at Rt 16 in Intervale, NH. When we got to the end and stopped, I asked Jay what he thought.
Jay:"that was the most awesome and terrifying thing I've ever done!". Me: "So you want to turn around and run it the other direction?"
Jay: "NO!" Heh.
A great time was had by all. Now that the kids are getting older maybe next year you can bring one along and stay a night.

Bräuista said...

A rockin' good day of riding with awesome good compn'y. Yay for Jay taking the day to spend with us. See ya soon!

Mopar said...

Here's a vid of Hurricane Mt Road Cher did a few years ago. Forgive the quality, I've since upgraded to a much better cam, which was recording our ride, so maybe she'll do a new video of it.

Wally said...

I have some memories of Hurricane Mountain Road alright....

Production at the shop took a brief pause this weekend so I could wake up the pasta burner after a 3 year hibernation. There was a short, yet very very spirited flog through the neighborhood.

Sevesteen said...

Decades ago I sucked a bee into my jacket when riding and got stung in the middle of the back. Not pleasant. However, as a teenager I experienced a friend (who wasn't legally allowed passengers) dropping a bike resulting in sliding down the road on my head and butt. Or rather, my helmet and a cassette tape in my back pocket, both of which sacrificed significant amounts of plastic to save my skin. I've also had a bird bounce off my helmet at 65mph. I'll accept the risk of bees.

Ed said...

Another ride in that area that you may like is Bear Notch Road, which runs between the Kanc and Bartlett on Route 302 in Crawford Notch west of Attitash.

Mopar said...

Ed: We did Bear Notch road as well (the 4th pic down in Jay's blogpost was taken on Bear Notch Rd.). Now that I'm home, maybe tomorrow I'll d/l the tracklog from the gps and overlay it on a map. Basically he got a pretty good tour of the area: Rt 16 up to 302 to Bear Notch Rd to the Kanc. Kanc to Lincoln, then continue on 112 until it ends at 10/302 in Bath. 302 up to Littleton, then down through Crawford Notch to 16 for a bit to Hurricane Mountain Rd. HMR to the end, then head back down to Conway and 302. Take North-South Rd to bypass North Conway traffic, then up to Cathedral Ledge. Back down and pick up West Side Rd to rt 16, again bypassing North Conway. 16 south to Chocorua Lake. Then 16 all the way down to 95 and back to MA.